I won't get to the show on this side of the Atlantic, but Matt Murphy (ABT corps dancer) reports in his blog that he spotted former ABT corps member Danny Tidwell in one of the audition shows. So we might get to test the 'ballet dancer' thesis.
Last year a couple of the RDB corps members entered a similar show in Denmark and were knocked out early on. I have to agree with comments elsewhere that it wasn't a good PR move - the dancers were clearly a class apart from most of the other competitors, but I do think that some of these judges really don't have a clue and/or often focus on the glitz rather than substance (the voting audiences certainly do!!). But it didn't look good for the company to have their dancers beaten by unknowns - if they wanted PR, there were better ways - like having them dance as part of the show when principal dancer Kenneth Greve won a nationwide celebrity singing contest (which probably singly handedly increased the number of boys auditioning for the school and certainly raised his 'street cred' with the kids in the school!
But I wouldn't say that a pro ballet dancer isn't a person who can do Broadway or music videos or Vegas - these days ballet dancers have to be incredibly versatile - Giselle one day, West Side Story the next and dancing to Rock and Roll the next. Many a ballet dancer has transitioned to Broadway (the combined cast of Movin' Out had a ballet resume that would make most ballet company directors drool) like Charlotte D'Amboise and Robert LaFosse and there are former pro ballet dancers in other Broadway musicals.
A decade or two ago, I suspect that few dancers could have made the transition because there was much less cross-over in ballet, but these days many companies perform Broadway or Broadway style pieces - including a few with singing - and the range of ballets is so wide, that dancers may well dance to rock music as well as to classical. And once you have the discipline, muscles, strength and ability to learn choreography at a professional level, it's often (but not always) not a stretch to switch genres.
And more than a few who appear in music videos - British posters may recognize the name Kip Gamblin from the BBC show Casualty. Gamblin danced with the Australian Ballet (he being the dancer who was involved with the sexual harrasment claims against Stanton Welch), before going into showbiz - danced in one of Barbra Streisand's stage shows - and then to TV in 'Home and Away', a big Aussie soap. The last transition probably was not so wise, as he's not a great actor and I'd love to see him dance. Apparently he was barred from the Australian version of 'Strictly Come Dancing' because he had been a professional dancer.
As to the judge - is it Mia Michaels you are talking about? Her bio suggests that she does have quite a bit of experience. A lot of these type of judges tend to have what is often termed as 'industrial choreography' experience - i.e. doing choreography for music videos, stage shows, commercials etc. Often their on-air bios are twisted by writers who are clueless to the material (which happens not infrequently in the ballet world as well, since most press reps have a PR background, not a dance background).
Here is her bio:
Mia Michaels’ choreographic genius and passionate dance moves currently grace the stage of Cirque du Soleil’s live music concert tour, “Delirium,” and also in the long-running Las Vegas theatrical production of “Celine Dion: A New Day” at Caesars Palace. The televised opening night of Celine’s show earned Michaels an Emmy nomination for “Celine in Las Vegas: Opening Night Live.” Michaels has also worked with such stars as Madonna, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan and Prince.
Michaels recently choreographed Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of “Hello, Dolly!” and continues to direct music extravaganzas for Greek superstar Anna Vissi throughout Europe. She is the founder, artistic director and choreographer for RAW, the acclaimed New York-based dance company; and she has been commissioned to create works for Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal, Jazz Dance Chicago and Oslo Dance Ensemble. Michaels is also the Artistic Director of The Pulse dance conventions, and has held faculty positions with such prestigious dance institutions as Alvin Ailey and The Joffrey Ballet. She continues to teach master classes around the world.